Throw Those Justin Fields Takes on the Ground Because He's Not Going to Be Part of Your System
By Kyle Koster
One truism that's become even more true as the sports and entertainment landscape has stretched toward infinity in recent years is how there's a paralysis by analysis. The forest tends to get lost for the trees as there's a reward system in place for anyone willing to say something new or different.
Take the NFL Draft for instance. There are NFL experts, college experts, player development experts, NFL insiders, former quarterbacks, anonymous scouts and so many more chefs in the kitchen cooking up content. That leads to a more complex and challenging flavor profile and more to chew on. It also leads to obscuring the basics of the dish.
Let's look at Justin Fields, who was the second-best collegiate quarterback during his tenure at Ohio State. His insanely impressive career was enough to earn him projections in the mid- to late-first round, behind at least two or three other quarterbacks who have never shown the type of playmaking or in-game acumen Fields made look easy.
Part of this is due to a gross whisper campaign intent to paint him as a simpleton who can't handle the complexities of an NFL offense, fought from behind the shield of anonymity. That's part of a larger and far more reasonable idea that Fields is not an immediate "fit" for an offense that will put him under center and ask him to do different things than he did with the Buckeyes.
But I tend to find myself agreeing with Mina Kimes here as New England-based chatter has heated up. NFL franchises draft the player, not the system. And not the supporting weaponry. If Justin Fields isn't great at what the Patriots have done in the past, perhaps they can tailor what they do in the future to maximize his skill set. It's really not so crazy.
Now, obviously, there is something to be said about having early understanding of pro-style offensive concepts. It's one fewer thing organizations need to project at a position that's been notoriously difficult to project with any certainty. But using Ryan Day's magnificent offensive scheme as a reason to ignore Fields' undeniable talents and accomplishments seems extremely shortsighted.
Almost like working too hard to make things more complicated. As a suburban dad myself, I know firsthand about how unimportant fits become as time goes on. It used to take 45 minutes to decide what to wear out in the world and now any joggers or hoodless sweatshirt will do, even if there are residual Romesco stains littering the material like peak Jackson Pollock.
The point, if there is one: Fields is a terrific quarterback and any team not smart enough to figure out how to use him doesn't deserve him.